History The League Of Nations

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The League Of Nations

The league was created by the treatys at the end of WW1 it was based in Geneva, Switzerland and started work in the January of 1920 i the beggining there were 42 members of the league this increased

The Structure...

  • The Assembly-this was the Leagues parliment and all nations had a representitive here
  • The council-this was a smaller commitie which made most of the major decisions Britan France Japan and Italy were permenent members of the council
  • The Secretariat-was the civil service of the League it kept recorde of meetings and prepard reoprts
  • Special Commissions-these delt with a range of thing like disarmament, drugs, refugees,health,womens rights and the mandates
  • The Permanent Court Of Justice-this ruled on international illegal cases
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  • Not all nations were members of the eague the USA never joined and defeated members like Germany were not members at first and many countries left when they had a disput with the league
  • The league ha dno armed fourcce of its own  and relied on Collective security which relied on members to work together to deal with aggression many looked to th eleague to take acition when they wernt willing to deal with the problems themselves
  • The league was dominated by Britain and France but the couldnt agree on how much power the league had
  • The league was slow when takeing action all decisions had to be unanimous in the assembely and the council
  • The League was very Idealistic and had unrealisttic ideas as not all countries would follow the ruleing with no power to enfource there decision
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succseses in the 1920's

Border Disputes...

  • Upper Silasa(1912)-this as an industrial area between poland and germany which was argued over a plebsite was held and industrial areas wanted to be german whille rural areas wanted to be polish so this is how Upper Silasa was split
  • Aaland Islands(1912)-both Sweden and Finland wanted theses islands and both threatened violence the league considered this situation and the Islands was given top Finland sweden acceppted the ruleing
  • Corfu (1923)-Grece and albanias  borders had been changed after the war an italien national was killed whil surveying the borders and mussolini blamed the greck goverment ect this seemed like the events befor ww1 and so the league acted swiftly mussolinies actons were condemed and greec was suggested to pay compensation to italy

the leauge saved both austria and hungry from economic collapse between 1922 and 23

The commissios did lots of valued humanitarian wrks helping with diseases and rehabilitating refuges they also introduced road and shipping lanes 

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Failiures in the 1920's

  • Vilna(1920)- after ww1 an new contry was created lithuania with the capital Vinus this capital was mostly polish thought so th epolish army enterd and took this city the league codemed this but poland took no no notice British and French troops should have been sent in but britan was not willing to act without the support of franc e who didnt want to do this poland kept Vilna
  • The league never achved one of its main aims which was disarmament as contries were not willing to lose all there defences
  • Major powers also ignored the leauges decisond and made international agrements independently to the league 
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The League And The Great Depression

  • The economic depression had effects on world politics too
  • millions lost jobs and in deaperation turned to extream political parties that promised extrem solutions to the economic crisis
  • These parties were often Nationalist so dint belive in ddemocracy and didnt care about internation co-operation ,.they usaly hated other contries  and ignored the authority of the league
  • these patries built up there military as a solution to the economic problems and unemployment and used aggression against other contries to achive there goals
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  • in september 1931 the Mukden incident occure wich was used by the Japenese used the incident (an explosion on nthe south manchuria railway) as an excusse to occupy all manchuria in china
  • China appeled to the league as it was an obvious case of agression
  • The league instructed japan to withdraw they didnt and they installed a puppet leader in Manchukuo (Pu Yi)
  • the Lytton commision was set up its report in1932 condemming the actions of japan ,Japan then left the league and no further action was taken


  • the league had no way to fource japan to withdraw and they were a powerful nation determined to ignor the league
  • the events were very distant from most members of the league as they were mostly european coutries and so they didnt seem important
  • it was seen as a japanese sphere of interest and everyone accepted the legitimet economic interests
  • China was weak ad many loked the idea of the Japanese enfourceing order in manchuria
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  • in October 1935 italy started a invasion of Abusininia the italyans had been humiliated by the tribes of abysininia at the oasis of wal wal and now stood little chance of defeating italy with there spears
  • italy was condemend by the league and a snctio on rubber trade was imposed as many didntwant to stop traiding things like oil due to the ecoomic climate
  • Britan & France tried to find a solution to the roblem and came up withthe Hoare-Laval plan to split abysininia this was leaked to the press both men had to resign and it showed the willingness of britan and france to fight
  • Abysininian empror Haile Selassie adressed the Asembelly  where he protested about how the league delt with this crisis this was A SERIOUS FAILIURE


  • Britan & France didnt want to become Italys enemies as they were a ally against Hitler
  • Both Britan& France had collonies in Africa so why shouldnt Italy it seemed perfectly acceptable
  • France had made a secret agrement to giv e mussolini ecoomic conssesions in Northe Africa so he thought they would not objec t to his invasion
  • Britan and France didnt want war and nobody else was strong enought to take on Italy
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